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Proper Phone Recycling

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Daliah Okoro
Daliah Okoro
March 6, 2015

The frequency with which consumers are purchasing new cell phones is quite alarming. While most phones are only built to last two years, many consumers buy the latest models even more frequently than that. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, many of these old cell phones are not disposed of properly and are instead ending up in landfills as E-waste. Generally, no one thinks about what to do with an old cell phone.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans are discarding 100-125 million cell phones each year! All these cell phones equal about 65,000 tons of trash and are why cell phones are now the fastest type of e-waste in the country. Instead of simply throwing out your old cell phones, you should recycle them and here are a few reasons why.

One reason to recycle old phones is to help the environment. Cell phones contain toxic metals such as mercury and arsenic. These metals can seep into the landfill and end up in water sources. With over 100 million cell phones being thrown out each year, the amount of toxic metals in the environment is growing at an alarming rate. Another reason to recycle is the fact that recycling can help bring down the cost of new phones. When you recycle, all the good parts of your phone can be reused. This means that the cost spent on raw materials will be brought down which lowers the overall production costs meaning you get a cheaper new phone. A third reason to recycle your old phones is to save energy. When just one phone is recycled, it saves enough energy to power a laptop for nearly 48 hours. This means that if Americans recycled all the phones that are thrown out in one year, the US could have enough energy saved to power over 24,000 homes for a whole year. With the US is trying to work towards energy dependency, you can do your part to achieve this goal by recycling. Some working cellphones can even be reused, and several programs re-sell them to benefit a variety of charities. These are just a few reasons that you should recycle your old phones.

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